The WARC Awards - Effective Content Strategy winners announced

Campaigns for KFC Malaysia, Knorr, MS Limited Australia and Lockheed Martin have been awarded Golds in the Effective Content Strategy category of the inaugural 2017 WARC Awards, a new global competition honouring the effective use of emerging marketing disciplines.

Judges of the Effective Content Strategy category, which rewards branded content strategies that demonstrate a business outcome and where editorial-style content is designed to win attention, praised the four Gold awarded brands for their innovative, intelligent, and demonstrably effective content efforts. The judging panel also awarded a further three Silver and five Bronze awards.

Of the 12 winning campaigns, four hail from Australia, alongside two global campaigns, two European campaigns, and one each from China, Malaysia, UAE and USA. McCann agencies lead the way with four winning campaigns submitted by offices in Melbourne, New York and Shanghai.

KFC Malaysia's Gold winning entry by UM Malaysia/Ensemble, employed programmatic technology to create and distribute content to millennials to launch its Hot and Cheezy burger in Malaysia.

Charles Baker, Strategy Director, Hearts & BBDO, said: "McDonald's is the king of burgers so for KFC to make something enduring that could be fun for kids is smart. It builds preference and repeat visits."

Knorr's global 'Love at First Taste' gold winning campaign, attracted a new generation of cooks with a social media strategy that tapped into passion points rather than pushing products. It was praised for its originality in both content and distribution, stemming from good insight.

Jury member Nick Kendall, Founding partner, Broken, Electric Glue and The Garage Soho said of the campaign: "It showed true understanding of the role of food as a good metric for people deciding whether they like each other."

Gold winner Space/Lockheed Martin's 'Field Trip to Mars' by McCann New York, created a VR-enabled bus for school children that showed them what Mars would look like. Unlike most VR-led campaigns, the experience was collective.

As a result, the campaign was highlighted for its innovation by the judges, "There's innovation there which we need to be pushing when it comes to what content does for people", said judge Janisa Parag, Head of Planning at True.

Parag also commented on non-profit MS Limited Australia's 'This Bike Has MS', a gold-winning campaign by whiteGrey Australia, which used a pushbike to describe the debilitating symptoms of multiple sclerosis, saying "It's a good approach for a non-profit because they usually go for the heartstrings."

All the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners, as selected by the 16-strong international jury, chaired by Alison Keith, Vice President - Global Media, Coty, are:


  • KFC Malaysia · Stealing a burger-march on McDonald's using real-time data · Ensemble Worldwide, UM Malaysia · Malaysia
  • Knorr · Love At First Taste · MullenLowe London, MullenLowe US · United Kingdom & United States
  • Space/Lockheed Martin · Field Trip to Mars · McCann New York · United States
  • MS Limited Australia · This Bike Has MS · whiteGrey · Australia


  • Du · #PostWisely · Starcom · United Arab Emirates
  • Ford Edge · Le Fantôme · GTB · United Kingdom
  • Melbourne International Film Festival · How selling future memories broke historic records · McCann Melbourne · Australia


  • adidas Football · Gamedayplus: the benefits of building an audience · We Are Social · United Kingdom
  • Cathay Pacific & Cathay Dragon · Marriage in the Air · McCann Worldgroup, MRM // McCann Shanghai · China
  • L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Laser X3 · Laser or L'Oréal · McCann Melbourne · Australia
  • Marriott Hotels · Becoming the Story · MEC · United Kingdom
  • Maurice Blackburn Lawyers · Your Right Is My Right · One Green Bean · Australia

The winners of Social Strategy will be announced on 11 September and Best Use of Brand Purpose on 18 September. The winners of all the Grands Prix and Special awards will be revealed at an event in London on September 20. Register here to attend. 


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